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Cyprus, Israel and Greece step up defence cooperation

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Cyprus and Israel have signed a bilateral defence cooperation programme between the national guard and the armed forces of Israel (IDF) in Tel Aviv, as well as a corresponding tripartite programme with the Greek defence forces for 2023.

The bilateral cooperation programme includes a significant number of actions carried out in both countries while the trilateral programme showcases the role of the three countries “as factors of stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond”, the defence ministry said.

It said the signing ceremony was preceded by extended talks between delegations during which a review of the bilateral and then the trilateral cooperation so far was carried out.

“The talks confirmed the significant progress achieved in existing areas of cooperation, while a preliminary discussion was held regarding additional areas of common interest, which will be included in future programmes,” it added.

There was also an exchange of views and assessments regarding the challenges related to security in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, but also more generally on the security climate that is taking shape internationally due to geopolitical developments.

The bilateral agreement include a significant number of actions, which will be carried out both in Cyprus and Israel as in 2022 when the large-scale exercise Agapinor and the air defence exercise ‘Iason’ were carried out.

In addition, with the signing of the tripartite programme, “the already-close military cooperation between the Cyprus, Greece and Israel is further deepened.”

Both programmes are part of the wide network of bilateral and multilateral actions developed by the national guard and provide for joint exercises, training and exchange of expertise on specialised issues.

“At the same time, they express the ongoing commitment and will of Cyprus, Greece and Israel to upgrade and strengthen cooperation and ties between their armed forces, as it has been acknowledged that addressing common challenges and promoting security and stability requires multilateral and multifaceted action between countries which share the same ideals and principles, which are based in international law,” the announcement said

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